ICA Statement on Access to Memory (AtoM)

Since 2005 ICA has championed  the development of AtoM software as a means of enabling small and medium-sized archive services to make available online catalogue information about their holdings, in various languages and in accordance with ICA descriptive standards. 


 The project started with a grant from UNESCO and was then financed by the former Dutch Archives School, the Archives of France, and the National Archives of the United Arab Emirates. In addition, many ICA experts gave freely of their time to ensure that the product developed in accordance with ICA descriptive standards.  With the full agreement of the developer (Artefactual), the product was branded ICA-AtoM, in order both to reflect the central importance of ICA's commitment and to encourage more users to adopt the product.  From the ouset ICA AtoM was made freely available as open source software.

In the last two years Artefactual has continued to develop the software without the direct involvement of ICA. For its part ICA recognizes its continuing obligations to the many hundreds of users who have adopted the product because of the ICA brand.  A continuing split between different versions of AtoM would, in ICA's view, be unhelpful and confusing for users. That is why ICA and Artefactual are talking about ways of re-establishing the partnership, on the basis of improved co-ordination supplied by a robust governance structure.  This would help to secure the necessary funds  for the long-term development of the product  in accordance with an agreed route map. The needs of the user community will of course continue to be paramount.

We hope that we will be in a position to make a further announcement later this year.

 This statement is available in spanish, following this link .